As one new adventure begins, another one ends. Transitioning to start this new church means transitioning away from a church we have spent the last 5-years pouring our lives into. We've laughed, cried, sweat, and genuinely grown to love the people of LaGrange Missionary Church. God has taught me so much through them, I will never forget my time there and the memories shared. It has been so great to see them grow so much in Christ.
Here are a few lessons I learned as I said "Good-Bye":
1) It matters how you leave.
I realized pretty quickly that I could have negated 5-years of ministry in just a few short moments by leaving badly (angry, without proper good-byes, without respecting appropriate protocol, grabbing everything I could, tooting my own horn, etc.). It matters how you leave; it matters how you leave your job; it matters how you leave your family; it matters how you leave your church. The how really matters so do it right and do it well.
2) Don't be discouraged by who doesn't come to your going-away-party.
I told myself long before it happened, not to let the mark of my ministry be based upon who showed up to send me off. You don't know people's reasons for not showing up, so don't let your mind get carried away. Even though big fan fare is great, I need to constantly remind myself that I get my pats from God not from men. If I'm aiming to please men and win their approval, I'm in for a big heap of trouble.
3) Don't look back.
If you know God has called you to do something or head a certain direction, get going and don't look back. Lot's wife learned the hard way. Lallygagging and second guessing will only cause problems. My dad used to say, "Son, don't undo in doubt what you've decided in faith." Thanks dad!
God, thank you for teaching me that there is a right and wrong way to leave, and thank you for your grace that helped me not totally mess it up. I can't wait for what's next!